• Maryam Isa-Haslett


Updated: Sep 7, 2020

Lace Material

A lace is made by machine or hand, lace material is a delicate and beautiful textile, which has a distinct open web like pattern. Lace is a beautiful decorative textile, that is in a material family of its own. It can be made from any fibre, but the most common include; cotton, wool, silk, rayon, nylon, and polyester.

Lace consists of 2 elements:

The design - this is usually a floral pattern or a group, which creates the decorative and more solid part of the material. The ground material - this serves to hold the pattern together Lace making can be dated as far back as the Bronze Age. Originally all lace was made by hand with bobbins or a needle. Handmade lace is one of the most complex and time-consuming textiles to produce. It requires very skilled labour; hence why it is also one of the most expensive materials.

How is it manufactured?

Lace is an open work material which consists of a network of yarns formed to create intricate, elaborate, and decorative designs. As well as being handmade in the traditional manner, or machine made, lace can also be produced with an intricate pattern scan.

It is made of fine yarns which are looped, twisted or knotted together in a variety of different lace constructions. Lace can be produced in piece form and as narrow fabric edgings. Elastane is often added for stretch and additional flexibility.

There are 2 main groups of handmade lace:

Needlepoint lace - handmade lace that has evolved from thread work and cut work techniques. These are made by embroidering complicated designs with an embroidery needle onto a material base.

Bobbin or Pillow lace – made by twisting threads around pins to form the pattern. The yarns are plaited and twisted around many pins arranged in a design on hard cushions or pillows

There is also knitted lace. This has an open mesh structure, which is like traditional lace. It can be weft or warp knitted and comes in a variety of weights.